Sunday, August 21, 2011

Couponing at CVS tonight - found Clearance items!

I went to CVS tonight to pick up a 2 pack bundle of the Sunday paper, and decided to look around a bit while I was there. I didn't plan to do any coupon deals while there, but just to see what all might be on sale, etc. before I went home and looked over the ad/paper.

I was glad to find some things on clearance that we could use though and picked up the following items:

CVS Super Advanced toothbrush - clearanced for $.69 (reg. price $2.77) 
CVS Children's Decongestant Nose Drops - clearanced for $1.17 (doesn't expire 'til 6/2013!) (reg. price $4.69)

Ghirardelli Chocolate - Intense Dark 60% Cacao 3.5 oz. bars - clearanced for $.92 (reg. price $3.69)
Softlips 2 pack pearl and cherry - clearanced for $1.12 (reg. price $4.49)

Purchased 3 toothbrushes, 2 Decongestants, 2 Chocolate bars, and 5 Softlips (stocking stuffers!!) - 
$11.85 spent (not including tax) - reg. price would've been $47.52 - saved $35.67 (75% savings)

More Couponing

I've continued to have the "coupon bug" and decided it was time to get organized if I was going to keep the coupons from the papers and actually use some of them, so I have crossed over into the "coupon craze" realm - at least that's how it was referred to when I called Hobby Lobby to see if they had any baseball card sheet protectors to put in a binder and the lady asked if I was part of the "coupon craze" - LOL. If it's a craze, so be it, much worse crazes to be a part of, LOL.

So, I had a 1 in. binder on hand and put in the protectors and started sorting coupons and putting them in. It was a big job b/c I've been saving them from papers for about a month or so and not done any organizing yet. I'm not done yet, but I definitely made a dent in them, especially the "food" coupons. I left the non-food ones in regular envelopes for now, but sorted in categories so I can pull out the envelope and just sort through them - for now. I was tired of sorting and cutting and what not and Miss Baby was up from her nap, which meant chaos when you have little pieces of paper all over the dining room table ;)

So, I made my first 2 store trips - armed w/my binder - yes, I took it in w/me - I felt a little self-conscious, but I got over it pretty quickly. Inside in the front pocket I had 2 small envelopes labeled w/the store names (my first two stops were Target and Wal-mart) and a spiral notebook sitting in the front w/my lists for each store. On each list I had the items I needed to get, how many to get, and the coupon value. Then, on a separate little page stapled to the spiral notebook page, I had my other items that were non-coupon items listed out. It went pretty smoothly, although it took me a lot longer to shop for even the few items I was getting b/c I was trying to be very careful to get the right things and make sure I was getting exactly what the coupon said so I wouldn't have any issues at the register.

So, moment of truth - the checkout!

I went to Target first b/c I only had 1 "cold food" item, bacon. I loaded my items on the belt, maybe 20 things, and waited for the checkout. Then gave her my Target coupons first, some were giving some kind of error on the screen. The checker didn't seem to notice and kept on scanning, although the coupons weren't being taken into the system and deducted. She then noticed and we made sure to get all of them in the system, and then I had manufacturer coupons also - turns out she wasn't even a checker usually, so I had to explain to her that I could use a manuf. and a Target coupon on the same item according to their coupon policy and she then scanned those in. If I did the math correctly when I returned home, I saved about 20% on the items I bought.

Off to Wal-mart (for future trips, I will bring a cooler w/those ice packs for food from first store) - took my Target bag of bacon w/receipt in and asked greeter if I could take it in w/me - showed her the Target receipt - she seemed a bit wary, but said it was ok, so off I went. Again, took me longer than normal in there, but I got what I needed. Got to checkouts, looked through coupons again to make sure I had the right ones in the envelope and realized I'd only gotten 1 item that I'd had 2 coupons for, but didn't feel like leaving the line to go get another, so just took that coupon out (it wasn't like it was going to be free or anything that fabulous ;) ) - checkout went ok. Later when I got home I found one error - was charged for key limes instead of regular limes to the tune of about $.25 extra, but lesson learned is that I need to watch more closely while things are being scanned in future. Saved around 20% here too.

Not the "extreme" couponing you see on the tv show, but 20% aint bad compared to not saving anything and just paying full price for everything, right?  I plan to try again on our shopping trip for the next week and see how it goes. I also hope to explore shopping Kroger some.

Any tips/advice are always appreciated as I am new to using coupons at all - I always thought I should be, but never remembered to bring them w/me, or had them in my purse and forgot to get them out. The binder is a very visible reminder to USE the coupons you have!

Oh, and I was encouraged by the fact that I saw quite a few folks w/coupons in hand or those expandable coupon files and best of all, a man in the checkouts price matching w/his ads all laid out! So, I wasn't the only one out there trying to save a few bucks and I was thrilled to save some $ last night!

Who have you taken time getting to know better lately?

Mothers in Israel.

I know a lot of them and am blessed to see them often. Recently I have been able to spend more time w/one in particular and found we have some common interests/hobbies. She and her husband came to spend a day with me and the children and she spent time teaching the girls to begin crocheting. We had a wonderful visit and it has deepened our bond as family in Christ. It is even sweeter to see her face each Sunday we are blessed to be in services w/her. I am very thankful for her. Today she brought me a bag of sewing goodies from her stash that she was ready to part with - I am already making plans for them! I don't know if she knows how blessed I feel to have her in my life, but I plan to tell her.

Often it is easier to sit w/the same folks each Sunday at lunch after services and visit - those around our own age perhaps; others with children going through the same "time of life" as we are, but I have often found a great blessing in remembering to also visit with those that are older and have "been there" and those that are younger and spend time getting to know them better as well. It's hard sometimes to step outside our comfort zone, but the rewards are always worthwhile, in my humble experience.

I am thankful for my church family - they are not all closeby, but close in my heart. We have church family at a number of locations across the country and are thankful for every one of them!

Just some random thoughts :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

New School Year Approacheth....and fast!

Monday we will begin the 2011-2012 school year, Lord willing.

Very excited to get started full swing again. We did school some over the summer, but took the past few weeks off to relax, or so I thought. :) Those year round schoolers may be onto something. Too much free time is not a good thing for anyone! Idle hands????

Anyway! Everything is either here and ready to go, or on its way. We have a few loose ends from last year's materials to finish up first though, so I'm not stressing about not having all the new stuff just yet.

I wonder, in public schools, if they don't finish the textbook for the year, do they ever carry over the next year and finish? I kind of doubt it. Anyway, that's what we'll be doing - finishing, then continuing on! Love our flexibility to do whatever needs to be done to fit our children.

Thankful to the Lord for all our blessings - our wonderful children - freedom to school our children in our own private school here at home - for so many things. May the Lord richly bless you and yours in this 2011-2012 school year!